Complete Union Not Achieved

Donia G. Mounsef
Featured image: Wabash © Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle 2019


We come together,           we fall apart,
we shine to show each other the way,
we fade into ruinous resin with               sallow viscosity –
life is always a combination of accident
and bad chemistry,            a storm door built on
the mouth of a canyon, a sovereign nation on the
               folds of warm bodies in mass graves,
pitched tents on                rejected landfills,
an empty life jacket reaching Lampedusa alone
with straps intact,
a five-ton whale                beached on the shores of
our greed that not enough
               wet towels can keep alive.

A marooned vessel can’t bargain
               with a stormy sea –
call your ships back,
Iphigenia is dead before she
was to be sacrificed.
A desert can’t barter with rain clouds,
a compass can’t blackmail the northern star,
the spectacle of navigation is doomed
on desiccated seas,
               can’t lasso your affections
to an afterthought.
               Paradise can only be found
after it has been lost.

“Complete union not achieved,”
said the radiologist speaking
               of my lateral malleolus –
my finger too spiraled into
an anxious geometry of fractured bones.
We wish we can read the future
               like one reads an x-ray,
with frosty white for                bone density
               and darker ashen lines
tracing the chronicle of a wound,
a lexicon conned           from a faint light left-over
from the aurora borealis,           stealing the dim currency
               of a counterfeited sun.